Dolomites, Italy
Dolomites, Italy

Dolomites, Italy
May 21-28, 2024

Set apart from the rest of the Alps, the jagged pinnacles of the Dolomites mark the boundary between Italy and Austria. The cuisine, the languages (German and Italian) and the dual place-names reflect the blending of these two cultures. These mountains of the Tyrol were once Austrian but since World War I have been Italian. Within the shadows of these towering limestone peaks lie picturesque hamlets of Alpine "hof" (farmhouses), high-steepled churches, and flower strewn meadows of gentian, alpen rose and crocus.

For the week, we will be located in the "Altipiano del Renon" (the "high flat area of Renon"), an ideal location for exploring this stunning landscape.

Gondolas will sometimes carry us to higher altitudes where we will hike trails through larch, pine, spruce and through alpine pastures of grazing cattle. Dominating our views will be craggy, snowy peaks and vertical walls of dolomite rock. Fresh air and beautiful light are our daily staple.

Our hikes are of varying difficulty but generally in the moderate range with elevation gains of 1,000-1,500 ft. and average distances of 8 miles. Daytime temperatures are 60 -70 degrees with cooler temperatures at high altitudes.

Among our stops along our hike will be a visit to a farmer's house for "spek" and apple juice, a look at a very old "hof" and an afternoon wine tasting. Time spent in the gateway city of Bolzano/ Bozan gives us an opportunity to enjoy medieval arcades, Gothic architecture, tile patterned roofs and the Archaeological Museum where Otzi (the 5300 yr. old man found preserved on a Dolomite glacier) is displayed.

  Dolomites, Italy
Dolomites, Italy
Dolomites, Italy
Dolomites, Italy
Dolomites, Italy
Dolomites, Italy
Dolomites, Italy
Dolomites, Italy

Day by Day Overview

Tuesday, May 21
Meet Karen and Patrizia at the train station in Bolzano/Bozen(this is the Italian/German name for the town) in the main hall (ticket hall) at 4:30PM. From here we will take a bus to Collalbo/Klobenstein and the Dolomiten Hotel - Collalbo is about 3,500 ft elevation. Get settled and explore the village on your own.

Wednesday, May 22
We start our day from the hotel, walking an easy path through the town of Longomoso-at one time a stopover for the Teutonic Knights. Our woodland path gives us views to the "People Pyramids", Gothic churches, fields of flowers and the small hamlet of Badsuss. We have an afternoon treat of local refreshments at the farmhouse of Siglinde. We walk back to Collalbo.

Thursday, May 23
A bus will take us to another area of the Dolomites today. Casterotto, an alpine village (3,500ft) with lots of character is base for exploration of the Alpe di Siusi region. Alpe di Siusi, Europe's largest high alpine meadow, separates two of the most famous Dolomite ski resort valleys. We use a cable car to reach higher elevations today. Views here are of the Sasso Lungo Mountains at the head of the meadow and the Schlern Peaks. We experience both meadow walks and altitude walks today. Return to Collalbo by bus.

Friday, May 24
This is a "town day". We take the narrow gauge train, then cable car down the mountain to Bolzano. At 10:00 a.m. we will visit the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, home to the famous 5000-year-old "Ice Man"-we have a specialist guide.
Lunch/shopping from 11-1PM followed by a walk to visit a vineyard and a wine tasting. This has been a noted wine producing area since Roman times. Bus back to Collalbo.

Saturday, May 25
Our bus will take us to the cable car which will "lift" us to 6,600ft. Then an hour's walk accompanied by spectacular Dolomite scenery takes us to the "Corno of Renon". (Corno=horn; Renon=name of area). Then we walk back to our hotel through scented pine forest and alpine meadow. The descent is about 3,000ft.

Sunday, May 26
Today we leave our hotel on a path that transverses field and woods. The view of the impressive Rosengarten range of the Dolomites is always with us. We will have interesting stops along our route today: the Bee Museum-the oldest surviving "maso" of the area-a typical farmhouse including dwelling, hay barn and stable (; a picnic lunch by Lake Costalovara. Then a return walk to Collalbo.

Monday, May 27
We take the bus today to Val di Funes located in the Odle Group of the Dolomites. From the naturalist point of view, this valley is among the finest in the region. This is a beautiful wooded valley where the cutting of forest has been regulated since 1577! We see spruce 30 meters high and 130 years old as well as larch and pine. Both deer and chamois populate the area. Return by bus to Dolomiten.

Tuesday, May 28
We leave Collalbo this morning after breakfast to be at the Bolzano train station by 10:00a.m. If you need an earlier departure, a taxi can be arranged.

Notes: Our hikes each day are 7-9 miles. This is the Italian Alps and so some of the hikes have significant elevation changes. For the hikes with the greatest altitude gain, we take a gondola/lift. While elevations change during our week from valley to high mountain meadows the actual hiking elevation range is from 500 ft to 1,500 ft. The highest elevation we reach is 7,000'. To enjoy this trip, you should hike regularly in the months prior to the trip, include hills and be prepared for a great week of hiking!

We leave Collalbo each morning around 9:00 AM. Our breakfasts and dinners are at the hotel with the exception of one dinner on your own. A picnic lunch is provided by the hotel with the exception of two lunches. Each evening we will meet to "review and preview" our day.

Please Note: The above schedule is subject to change due to weather or other circumstances beyond our control.